THE ONE

INSERT 65

TSHEPO

“How is his sexing?” Charlotte asks and cracks into a laughter. She stares at me, waiting for me to give her an answer.
“Ohh please Charlotte,” I say and continue to pick clothes from my closet. Today is my last day at home and I am returning to work the following, so I am looking for something perfect to wear.
Times fly if I should tell you. Kgosi is five months already, even though it feels like just a month ago when I had him.
“How is Matt’s sexing game? Why do I have to dig for the news?”
“Because there is nothing to tell,” I say and shrug.
“Nothing to tell? You guys are always on date nights. He buys you flowers every week and talks about your evevveerryy day! He must be getting some of that booty.”
“No, he ain’t.”
“What is wrong with you? Since when do you keep secrets from me?” she asks and glare at my phone which is ringing on the couch. “See what I mean? He even calls you five times a day.”
“Hey Matt,” I say while balancing the phone with the top of my shoulder.
“I had a busiest day today, sorry I couldn’t call earlier…how are you guys?”
“We good.”
“My father is inviting you for a church service tonight. I tried to…”
“What?”
“Look…apparently I talk about you too often and he asked me to invite you for a prayer meeting tonight. It is just an hour,” he says.
“Well…I am really getting ready for tomorrow. I am going back to work and I still have a lot to do.”
“I understand,” he says and I feel guilty.
“Okay, okay…I think an hour is not that much. Fine…I will come.”
“Thank you, thank you,” he says and I could sense a handsome smile. “I will see you later then. I will send you the address.”
He hangs up and I throw my phone back on the couch.
“Another dinner date?” she asks and I shake my head.
“I am invited to a prayer meeting,” I say and Charlotte smiles. Her smile turns into a laughter.
“What is so funny?” I ask. It ain’t like I don’t go to church. What is funny?
“You look terrified…that’s what is funny.”
“His father invited me. Ofcourse, I am terrified. He shouldn’t have spoken about me with him.”
“Don’t stress yourself…just look for a long black dress and you will be fine,” she says and I continue digging in my closet for tomorrow’s outfit and an outfit for church.
I will have to deal with Matt. I don’t want to be in any situation where I feel obligated to be with him.
“So, how is his sexing game?” she asks once again.
“What is wrong with you Charlotte? Matt and I are just friends and I don’t sex friends.”
“Friends you say…sexy friends, you say?”
Matt and I have been to countless dates but we are not yet an item. He is too perfect and that scares the hell out of me. I don’t know if I am bringing my EX-boyfriends into my equation…but I am worried about how perfect he is.
Matt looks like a man who loves deeply and I don’t want to jump into anything with him. He loves too deep and that scares me, really.

When last did I wear stockings?
The dress that is decent for a church prayer needs stockings and a pair of good shoes. I would love to take Kgosi with me but I will get lecturing from my mother. I am still staying at home and Matt should find another apartment soon so that I move back to my cosy apartment.
“You are going to make a good pastor’s wife,” Charlotte says after helping me to zip my dress. It is already six and the service starts in thirty minutes. She refused to join me so I drop her home before driving to Midrand.
There are just a few cars parked outside and I do not see a sign of Matt. His phone is off and at this minute I want to stay in the car until he shows up. I would really love to stay in the car but I wouldn’t want to walk into a strange church while everyone is seated. So I pull my bag from behind the seat and hurry to join a group of ladies walking into the church hall. I hurry in and seat behind the three ladies who were infront of me.
Schucks!!! I am too early.
There is no one on the stage except a young guy playing a piano softly. It is just a few people already seated and I wish I had stayed in the car.
“Ohh…there he is. What a surprise,” one lady say and I turn my head to the direction in which she pointed at.
Damn! Matthews is damn fine! Those unbelted pants of his will be the death of me. They are navy blue with side adjustments. If he wasn’t so manly, I would think he is gay. He dresses perfectly every time I see him. He looks around the hall and I keep my head down so he doesn’t notice me.
“It is the first time I see him on a Tuesday service,” another lady says and they all agree.
He walks to the front and greet the people in the front seats, all four of them and thereafter take a seat on the fifth row.
He is a woman magnet! All ladies’ eyes are on him and boy I don’t blame any of them. I am outch here sinning just by watching him. Lord forgive me! I am wet.
The worship team starts ascending to the stage. One of the ladies infront of me stands to leave for the stage. She shoots up with her eyes on Matt, put on her jacket and flip her hair. With all that, Matt turns to our direction. He smiles before grabbing his bible and walking to me.
“No…no…no…” I whisper to myself as he walks towards me. More people turn to his direction.
“I am glad you could make it,” he whispers to my ear as he seats.
“Yes,” I say and focus on the worshipper starting a song.
“When is he sexing me?” I thought to myself but shake my head at my wild thoughts. I am in the holy house.
“Are you fine?” he asks and I nod. He shouldn’t talk to me; we are in the temple of God.
After three songs, the Pastor ascends the stage and grab a mic from the pulpit. Everybody closes their eyes just when he takes the mic to his mouth. I turn to Matt and boy, oh boy, he has his eyes closed and both his hands slightly raised for worship!
“Haaaaaaaaaa!!!!” that angelic tone rings in my head. This man ain’t human.
Lord forgive me for the fourth time! I am wet all over again.
“Thank you Lord for this blessed day. Thank you Jesus for allowing us to gather in your presence once again. Thank you for your holy presence. Thank you for another opportunity to be in your grace. Thank you for your divine touch. We seek your guidance tonight. We seek your touch. Do as you please with our hearts. Let your spirit fill us tonight…amen,” the Pastor prayed and the church harmonise an Amen!
Everybody take their seat when he started paging his bible.
“You didn’t bring a bible?” he whispers.
“I use a phone,” I say.
“We will share mine,” he says.
Matt, neh? His cologne is suffocating us and the girls infront of us are stealing glances of him. I hope none of his EXs is staring at me right now.
The Pastor preaches for a good thirty minutes and the only verse that captures my heart is the last that he opened.
Philippians 4 verse 7.
Matt is one of those who page a bible for a few seconds and it scares me. The reason I use my phone is to easily search the scriptures. Matt is not like that. He jumps to the mentioned chapter and he whispers the quotes before they are even read by the Pastor.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” The pastor reads and then closes the bible.
“Amen!!” the church says.
I like that: the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The Pastor leads us into a prayer and we pray for a good twenty minutes. I prayed until I was speechless. I mean I prayed to God to give me a man (tongue out), I prayed for him to give me the peace that surpasses all understanding like what the Pastor said, I prayed for Kgosi and my life. In ten minutes I am speechless but I got time to reflect on my life.
Maybe I need a Matt in my life, some day. I need to learn to love again. I need to allow him to love me. I mean, he is trying to be a good guy for me. I am just not there. He promised to guard and protect my heart but the world has messed me up.
After the service I met his parents, as a good friend. Luckily they had many people waiting for their prayers so they never asked much about me.
“Thank you for coming,” he says while opening my driver’s door.
“I heard you don’t attend the prayer meeting,” I say and he widened my eyes. “Apparently every girl like you in this church.”
“Unfortunately the one I like doesn’t like me back,” he says. If only he knew! I am just protecting myself.
“Let me go, Kgosi is probably waiting for me.”
“You still don’t want me to take him to the park with you?” he asks. This guy is trying too hard. “Don’t worry, I understand.”
“Have a good evening Matt,” I say jumping into the driver’s seat.
“Coffee after work tomorrow?”
“You should be packing out of my apartment…I need it back.”
“Are you kidding me? I don’t have a place to stay,” he says. “Why don’t you help me pack?”
“Why do I have a feeling you want me in a closed room?”
“Why not?” he says and I widened my eyes. This man was praying to God earlier.

*****

Should I say I was never ready to come back to work?
My boobs are forever full and I have to lock my office to pump some milk for Kgosi. No one warned me about such activities. Atleast I am allowed to leave early for the first week, so that I adjust to my new life.
Work sucks when you have a new baby waiting for you at home.
I miss my son like nobody’s business.
Thank God it is now just after two o’clock and I am packing my bags when I get a text from Khathu.
“I will never ask for a favour if it wasn’t important. Can Lufuno meet Kgosi tonight? Please? It is important,” the SMS reads.
“Tshepo, please…you are my last hope, please,” another SMS reads.
I continue to pack my bags and choose to ignore the text messages. I did tell Khathu that Kgosi will meet Lufuno when I am ready to do so.
My phone rings and I ignore it until the third ring.
“Hi Matt,” I say while locking my office.
“Was about to give up,” he says and chuckle. “How was your first day back at work?”
“Very long.”
“Are you alright? What’s wrong?” he asks and I smile. I remember wishing for a man who would pick my mood from just a telephone conversation with me.
“Khathu wants me to introduce Kgosi to his girlfriend…and I don’t think I am ready for that,” I easily say and he keeps quiet. I am not ready to play happy family with them. Matt has not met Kgosi since we got out of hospital. It is my choice to keep it that way.
“Why don’t you tell him that you are not ready?”
“He says I am his last hope…I don’t understand.”
“Pray about it.”
“What?”
“Yeah…pray about it,” he says and he ain’t joking. “Ask God what you should do. See, I have to go. I will call you before we sleep.”
I push my laptop bag to the car. Before driving off, I make that prayer…as funny as it sounds. I text my mother to have my son ready for me to take him to Khathu and Lufuno. I am only doing this because my heart is allowing me to do this.
I change into a pair of jeans and a tank top then drive to the location sent to me by Khathu. I park outside and call Khathu to come get us from outside. After the call, I get Kgosi out of his car seat and pick my bags from the boot.
“Hey…thank you for doing this,” Khathu says while reaching for Kgosi. I haven’t seen him in two months and he looks thinner than he was before.
“Hi…” I am speechless.
“Uhm…thank you for coming.”
“What’s going on?” I ask. He looks unhappy and stressed. He told me he is going through a lot when he couldn’t come to see Kgosi in those few months.
“Lufuno blames herself for our separation…and I was asking if you could…talk to her, you know?” he says and I wish to fold my arms but the bags in my hands make it impossible. I want to ask to be excused, but I am curious.
He leads the way to the apartment. I take it this is Lufuno’s apartment.
“Babe…I have a surprise for you,” Khathu says when we enter the house. The curtains are closed and only the kitchen light is on.
I follow behind Khathu until we get to a couch. Lufuno lifts her head and carefully sit from the couch.
“Kgosi is here with Tshepo,” Khathu says while sitting next to her.
What? It seems like she can’t see properly?
Khathu carefully places Kgosi on Lufuno’s lap and put her hands around him. She smiles and then started rocking the baby softly.
“I can see him,” she says as she stares down on her lap.
“And he is smiling at you,” Khathu says. He still has that glow he always had when he looked at her. I am watching, trying so hard not to cry.
Lufuno caress Kgosi’s hair and I can see tears almost forming in her eyes.
“How are you Lufuno?” I ask, to break the ice.
“I am okay…just recovering from the surgery…but it is so hard,” she says. I never thought we could ever be in such a situation.
“Let me show Kgosi around,” Khathu says while picking the baby from Lufuno’s lap. I get it, he wants us to have a chat.
“What are the doctors saying?” I ask. We have to make a conversation unless I want us to be in an awkward situation.
“They say I am healing well and hopefully I will regain my vision…”
I want to ask what happened, but that would be insensitive.
“That’s good.”
“Thank you for coming today…it means a lot to me…”
“Uhm…yah…”
“I had always wanted to apologise for taking Khathu from you,” she says without a warning. “I feel I need to apologise…maybe I have hurt you so much. Some days are easier to deal with…and some days are harder. I just need to keep being strong and sometimes it is tiring. I am tired. But it would be selfish of me to give up without considering how other would feel.”
Why does she speak like a person who wants to kill herself.
“I went to church last night and I learnt a new verse,” I say and she doesn’t respond, “The peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind.”
Sounding like Mrs Pastor, right? I thought it would be good to share.
“Thank you,” she says.
“Look…your apology is not accepted. You never wronged me…you didn’t steal Khathu from me…believe you me. He loves you. He always did and even if I forced to stay with him, I was just going to hurt myself and take away his happiness. He chose you and you should trust him when he tells you he loves you…he means it. He still has that spark that I always saw when he spoke about you. He still looks at you the same way he always did…and I left him because I couldn’t compete with that. I never stood a chance and I don’t think anyone will ever stand a chance as long as you are still around.”
She smiles weakly.
“He is going to die if you ever leave him. You bring him this joy, you know? You do…and you should never doubt him,” I say.
She drops a tear.
“I am glad I let him go…because in doing that, I opened a room for someone else,” I say with a smile. “He looks at me the same way Khathu looks at you. He knows it when I am not fine. He cheers me up when he sees fits.”
She is crying like a burden is shifted off her shoulders.
“You know what he told me today when I wasn’t sure about something so simple?” I ask and she shakes her head.
“He said I should pray…and I did…and it worked,” I say and she smile.
“Thank you,” she says.
I don’t know where all of that came from.
“Pray when you are not sure. Kgosi still needs Khathu…and Khathu still needs you…so pray when you are not sure,” I say and she nods.
“Thank you,” she says.
“Life is too short for you to…” I stop before I could finish the sentence.
Life is too short, alright? I reach for my phone and dial the last number that called me.
“Hey Tshepo…”
“Life is too short Matt…did you mean all the things you ever said to me?”
“Everything.”
“Did you mean it when you said you want to mend my heart? Did you mean it when you said you want to make me your wife one day? Did you mean it when you said you are ready to love me?” I ask, not minding my EX’s girlfriend in the room.
“I meant it.”
“I am ready for you to mend my heart Matt…I think I am ready,” I say and hear him take a deep sigh!! A deep sigh of relief!!!